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The following is a compilation of Q&A's submitted by enthusiasts and answered by Ed.

 

Part Seventy One Q&A 1751 - 1775

1751. I have a 2001 LE PT with 17k miles. The water in the HVAC system did not drain properly causing mold to form. How hard on a scale of 1-10 is it to remove evaporator and clean? I am an above average old school mechanic. Thank you in advance. - Jerry, from Texas.

It's more work than you might expect. The evaporator is located in the HVAC housing, under the instrument panel. The housing must be removed from the vehicle in order to access the evaporator. The instrument panel must be removed in order to remove the HVAC housing. The refrigerant must be drained from the system during this process and recharged during reinstallation. If you would like to review the OE guide it's available through the Pit area on the site. See Tech Library, A/C and Heating subsection for other treatment alternatives. (Make sure to periodically check the condensation drain hose. It can back up into the passenger area and cause additional mold to form in the HVAC system.)

 

1752. I have a 2001 LE PT with 17k miles. The engine shut down while driving. I checked for spark at plug and coil, no spark. I replaced coil, still no spark. There is voltage at the coil. Can a camshaft or crankshaft sensor cause loss of spark? Pulled fault code P0340. Be grateful for any help/suggestions. – Jerry, from Texas.

The P0340 fault code indicates: Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit. It can create a no spark/start issue. See Tech Library, Electronic Control Modules subsection for additional information on this DTC.

Follow up from owner - Wiring harness to crankshaft position sensor rubbed on CV boot caused wire from sensor to PCM to lose continuity. I soldered in some wire and good to go.

 

1753. We have a 2004 LE PT with 54k miles. We are having a problem with our ABS brakes and the dealer indicated that the system was cycling prematurely and required further troubleshooting to repair. – Ben, from Ohio.

Symptoms of premature ABS cycling include: clicking sounds from the solenoid valves; pump/motor running, and pulsations in the brake pedal. Most dealers usually use a DRB III scan tool to detect and verify premature ABS cycling. It does require some effort to isolate the cause, which could include damaged tone wheels, incorrect tone wheels, damaged steering knuckle wheel speed sensor mounting bosses, loose wheel speed sensor mounting bolts, excessive tone wheel runout, excessively large tone wheel-to-wheel speed sensor air gap, or a damaged speed sensor head face.

 

1754. I have a 2002 PT. I noticed that the driver's side low-beam headlight isn't working. I bought the new bulb and installed it, but it's still not working. I suspect that there may be a problem with it since I noticed that the access panel on the driver side had appeared to have been taken off frequently. I will attempt to try the new bulb on the passenger side just to make sure I didn't get a faulty bulb but, beyond that, I'm at a loss. Thanks for any help. – Forum poster, from USA.

Fuse #20 (10amp) in the interior fuse box controls the left low beam headlamp. Fuse #19 (10amp) in the interior fuse box controls the right low beam headlamp.  If the passenger side works and the driver side does not, there's probably a voltage issue somewhere in the circuit. First, check the fuse.  If the fuse is blown replace and test for result. If the fuse is ok check for voltage at the lamp socket. If you don't have 12v there check at the connector attached to the socket. If you have voltage there, go back and check the socket for corrosion and or damage.  If you do not have voltage at the connector there's an issue further up the circuit and probably beyond your ability to diagnose. Have it checked by the dealer.

 

1755. I have a 2001 LE PT. I have erratic temperature readings on my overhead console. I replaced the ambient temperature sensor in grille area which did not resolve the problem. The dealer says they can help, but a mechanic at dealership says no. – Forum poster, from USA.

Possible causes include:  

Ambient Temperature Sensor
Ambient Temperature Sensor Signal Circuit Short To Voltage
Ambient Temperature Sensor Signal Circuit Open
Ambient Temperature Sensor Signal Circuit Short To Ground
Ambient Temperature Sensor Signal Circuit Short To Sensor Ground Circuit
Ambient Temperature Sensor Ground Circuit Open
Compass/Temperature Module

There's a diagnostic available in the Pit area however the procedure is written for trained technicians; it's really not very DIY friendly.

 

1756. I have a 2002 BE PT with 130k miles. I'm curious as to why there is a difference in the turning radius for the different wheel sizes? Is this due to a different steering rack or something else? I have driven a 2005 PT and can say without doubt that the turning radius on the 2005 was MUCH smaller than my stock 2002's with the 16" wheels. Thank you. – Steve, from Canada.

Here are the turning radiuses for the 2002/2006 model years and steering gear rack P/N's for comparison. (The tie rod P/N's are different for the manual and auto transaxle.) I can't say if any other components are different dependent upon transaxle. I would suggest that you ask your local dealer for a more thorough explanation.

2002

Turning Diameter

36.5 ft. 15” base tires and manual transmission.
40.0 ft. 16” tires and/or automatic transmission.

[DGL]= 4 Speed Automatic Transmission
[DD5]= 5 Speed Manual Transmission
[SBA]= Steering - Power
[SBB]= Steering - Firm Feel Power
[WCF]= Wheels - 15 X 6.0 Black
[WNE]= Wheels - 16" Aluminum, Chrome
[WNX]= Wheels - 16" Aluminum, Silver
[WD6]= Wheels - 16" Aluminum, Chrome
# = New P/N indicates change in part

GEAR, Power Steering

4656 456AD DD5 [SBA, WCF], Up To 12-5-01
#4656 456AG DD5 [SBA, WCF], After 12-5-01
4656 679AD DD5 [SBA, WNX, WNE, WD6], Up To 12-5-01
#4656 679AG DD5 [SBA, WNX, WNE, WD6], After 12-5-01
4656 458AC DD5 [SBB], Up To 12-5-01
#4656 458AF DD5 [SBB], After 12-5-01
4656 746AD DGL [SBA], Up To 12-5-01
#4656 746AH DGL [SBA], After 12-5 01
4656 747AC DGL [SBB], Up To 12-5-01


2006

Turning Diameter

36.7 ft. 15" base tires and manual transaxle.
37.9 ft. 16" tires and manual transaxle.
40.2 ft. 16" tires and automatic transaxle.
42.0 ft. 17" GT and automatic transaxle.
40.2 ft. 17" GT and manual transaxle

[DDD]= 5 Speed Heavy Duty Manual Transmission
[DD5]= 5 Speed Manual Transmission
[DGL]= 4 Speed Automatic Transmission 41TE/41AE
[EDT]= 2.4L I-4 DOHC 16 Valve Turbo Engine
[EDV]= 2.4L I-4 DOHC 16 Valve High Output Turbo Engine
[EDZ]= 2.4L 4 Cylinder DOHC 16 Valve SMPI Engine
[SBA]= Standard Power Steering
[SBB]= Firm Power Steering

GEAR, Power Steering

5272 722AG EDZ DGL [SBA]
4656 456AI DD5 [SBA] [WCF]
4656 679AI DD5 [SBA] [WN2, WLE, WNS]
5085 520AA EDT [SBA]
4749 070AG EDV DGL [SBA]
5085 317AA EDV DDD [SBB]
4656 458AF DD5 [SBB]
4656 747AF DGL [SBB]
5272 289AE EDJ DDD [SBB]

 

1757. I have a 2006 BE PT with 35k miles. I am a mail carrier and travel 75 miles on gravel roads. Dust rolls into my PT and settles all over me. I was wondering if there is a way I can seal up the doors and hatchback? I love the car, but I am worried about breathing the dust that rolls in. I literally have to dust the inside of my car daily. Thanks. – Vonnie, from Colorado.

The seals around the doors and windows should be sufficient to keep most of the dust out, unless it is excessive and fine particles. Another entry point would be through the HVAC system. You may want to ensure that the air recirculation switch is adjusted for inside air only when driving in excessively dusty conditions. That said, your vehicle is still under the warranty, have your dealer check it over.

 

1758. I have a 2001 LE PT with 55k miles. The steering wheel is "peeling" as if it has an outer covering of rubber. It feels like the outer skin has slipped and has worn off on the upper half of the steering wheel. – William, from North Carolina.

It's not a common occurrence, although we have received a few similar reports during the last seven years. We do not know if there's an issue with the composition, manufacturing process, or if it's related to exposure to the sun. Similar issues have occurred with the dash panel and center bezel.

You have a few options; leave it like it is, wrap the wheel with an aftermarket cover commonly found in auto parts stores, or replace the wheel. Check with your local salvage yards for an inexpensive wheel replacement and review the installation guide on the site. Some owners have tried sanding the bezel and repainting however durability has been an issue and constant touch-up and or repainting have been necessary. This would not be practical on a steering wheel given the constant handling.

 

1759. I have a 2004 BE PT with 75k miles. The parking lights are not working. They will flash with the remote door opener but, will not work when you turn the switch. – Rich, from California.

It's a relatively simple circuit. Fuse #2 (15amp) in the interior fuse box feeds the multifunction switch which in turn operates the parking lights. If the lights flash on/off with the remote, the fuse and bulbs are ok. Next stop would be to test the multifunction switch. A number of these have failed and been replaced by owners. If you don't have access to a service manual, you'll find a diagnostic for the switch in the Pit area of the site.

 

1760. I have a 2003 BE PT with 87.6K miles and auto transaxle. About two 2 months ago the gears started slipping. My husband drained the transmission fluid and changed the filter (it was clogged) which seemed to resolve the problem. A couple of days ago I started having shifting problems again however this time it seems far worse. Exiting at a stop sign, the car would not move. After a few moments with D engaged and I was able to proceed. It also revs up high and doesn't want to go into the next gear. My husband serviced the transmission again. I drove it and the car is shifting much better. There was a little metal in the oil pan both times. Do you think the problem may be in the torque converter or the transmission is going bad? It also rolled backwards while in D while holding the brake. The self tests pull up the following codes: P0700, P0732, P0841 and P0734. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. – Gina, from South Carolina.

Please review the various DTC's you encountered below, then see your dealer. We do not troubleshoot transaxle issues.

P0700 -Transmission Control System

This is an informational DTC letting you know that a DTC(s) is stored in the Transmission Control Module, which can identified with a DRB III scan tool.

P0732 - Gear Ratio Error In 2nd

Possible Causes:

Related DTC's Present
Transmission Solenoid/Pressure Switch Assembly
Internal Transmission
Intermittent Gear Ratio Errors


P0734 - Gear Ratio Error In 4th

Possible Causes:

Related DTC's Present
Transmission Solenoid/Pressure Switch Assembly
Internal Transmission
Intermittent Gear Ratio Errors


P0841 - LR Pressure Switch Sense Circuit

Possible Causes:

Related Relay DTCs Present
Loss of Prime P0944 Present
L/R Pressure Switch Sense Circuit Open
Transmission Control Relay Output Circuit Open
L/R Pressure Switch Sense Circuit Short To Ground
L/R Pressure Switch Sense Circuit Short To Voltage
L/R Pressure Switch
Powertrain Control Module
Intermittent Wiring and Connectors

 

1761. Where can one obtain a trim stick tool (DC P/N C4755)?

Trim sticks are generally used for removing interior molding and panels. Some Chrysler dealer parts department carry them. You can also check with a local automotive pro sound shop that handles installation work, or an auto body shop supply store.

MST sold them at one time:

Miller Special Tools
SPX Corporation
655 Eisenhower Dr.
Owatonna, MN 55060
800-801-5420

Tool: Trim Stick #MLR-C-4755
Price: $3.14

In many instances the OE panels are easy to pop off simply by slipping a finger or two underneath the panel and gently prying. Start at one corner and work your way around the panel.

 

1762. I have a late-year 05 GT (HO) with 28k miles. Everything I have reviewed in the various forums and articles suggests that my PT has the 230-hp 2006 engine. I'd like to add a Mopar Stage 1 Turbo Kit, but none seem to be offered for PT's with engines later than the 220-hp 2005 PT. Wyckoff, says theirs won't work in my car. Is there a Stage 1 Kit available for the '06-up engine? Thanks. – Chuck, from South Carolina.

Mopar's latest catalog includes a Stage 1 Upgrade Kit for the 2006 model year. The P/N's are different from previous model years.

P/N P5153646 – Manual Transaxle W/ABS
P/N P5153660 – Auto Transaxle W/ABS
P/N P5153649 – Auto Transaxle WO/ABS

At this time Stage 1 Upgrade Kits are only available for 2003-2006 model years. For additional information please contact the Mopar Performance Hotline at 888-528-4364.

 

1763. I own a 2001 LE PT with 76k miles. I am looking to upgrade the brake components (rotors, pads, and calipers). When bleeding the system where is the best place to start? – James, from Georgia.

The following wheel circuit sequence for bleeding the brake hydraulic system should be used to ensure adequate removal of all trapped air from the hydraulic system.

Left rear wheel
Right front wheel
Right rear wheel
Left front wheel

If you don't own a service manual I would suggest that you review the OE brake system guide in the Pit area before proceeding.

 

1764. I have a 2003 GT (LO) with 40k miles. My problem is that the gas mileage is lower than what it should be. I have had the vehicle for almost one year. Being turbo charged I didn't think too much about gas mileage at first. This year I added the AirAid Cold Air Intake system, MSD coil pack, wires and NGK IX Iridium tip spark plugs. The MPG has not changed at all (no better/no worse). I looked up factory specifications on a couple web sites. It is listed to get between 20/24 and 21/29 MPG. Mine seems to get 16/20 MPG. That just doesn't seem right. I drive it pretty conservative. I use the cruise control on highway (65mph) all the time. I have noticed that you can hear a slight rattle through the intake tube coming from the turbo unit when you rev it up, with hood open. Is it possible the turbo unit is going bad? Or is something else in need of replacement or is that just the best MPG it is going to get? Any input you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. – Bill, from Indiana.

You're 16/20 MPG is about average for the PT. Some owners do a little better, others worse.

There are many variables that effect MPG, which are discussed in our “PT DIY Guide to Improved Fuel Economy.” The guide can be accessed from the home page on the site. Also, see Tech Library, OEM Engine Performance.

If you're solely comparing your MPG to the EPA estimate you are guaranteed to be disappointed. The EPA estimate for a 2003, with auto transaxle and turbo is 19/25 however the results are obtained using arcane testing methods, which are not comparable to real world driving we encounter today.

The old system, developed in the 70's, does not accurately reflect today's driving conditions, motoring habits, or vehicles. Many cars today spend 62 percent of their annual miles in stop-and-go traffic, where fuel economy is the lowest. Faster speeds are another big factor. The national highway speed limit was 55 mph in the mid-1970s, but vehicles now burn up to 15 percent more fuel per mile simply by traveling faster. Air conditioning, much more prevalent on new cars than it was 30 years ago, is also a factor. Running an air conditioner at 65 mph can reduce your fuel mileage by about 1 mpg and possibly more if you drive faster. The old EPA tests were conducted without the air conditioning turned on. Engine size, increased commute time and distance, vehicle weight, and accessories that impact mileage have all changed and are not currently taken into consideration.

Real world tests conducted by Consumer Reports showed that about 90 percent of the vehicles they tested returned worse mileage than the EPA estimates. Gasoline cars averaged 9 percent fewer mpg. The biggest differences they found were in city driving. On average, the mileage was about 30 percent less than the EPA numbers.

Examples

Jeep Liberty Diesel 4WD, rated at 22 mpg in the city by EPA, and got only 11 mpg in the test.

Honda Civic Hybrid Sedan, rated at 48 mpg in the city, could manage only 26; a 46 percent lower rating.

Chrysler 300 C was cited at 17 mpg in the city by EPA, vs. 10 mpg.

Other outlets also have found considerable discrepancies in mileage figures. AAA tested a number of 2003 and 2004 models and found:

2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser, rated at 20 city/26 highway by the EPA, could only achieve 17.5 mpg.

2003 BMW Z4, with an EPA rating of 21/29, was calculated at 15 mpg.

The EPA has recently updated (starting with the 2008 model year) its methods for estimating the fuel economy of new vehicles. The new system is designed to address all of these changes. Additional tests will be run at higher speeds and while using the A/C, and will include a closer look at stop-and-go driving and more aggressive starts and stops. Cold-temperature tests are also being added to more realistically show what drivers in northern states can expect in winter. The good news is that the numbers on the EPA window stickers should be closer to what you should expect to get in normal driving. The bad news is the predicted mpg will be lower than what people are used to seeing on the stickers.

Noise can not be diagnosed online. If you suspect an issue with your Turbo, have it checked.

 

1765. I have a 2002 PT. It has a fault code that says P1685, invalid skim key as well as P0605 and P0700.  The PT went into limp mode and won't get out of second gear.  Since my DC dealer wants to charge me $400 for labor and a new TCM, should I try to re-establish my skim key so that it might unlock my engine? This all happened at once, in one day with no previous warning. – Erica, forum poster, USA.

P1685 Skim Invalid Key - The engine controller has received an invalid key from the SKIM.  

I would not mess with the SKIM. The issue with the SKIM may be tied to the faulty TCM. The TCM is integrated into one module, called the PCM.  

SKIM Operation

When the ignition switch is moved to the RUN position, the SKIM transmits an RF signal to the transponder in the ignition key. The SKIM then waits for a response RF signal from the transponder in the key. If the response received identifies the key as valid, the SKIM sends a “valid key” message to the PCM over the PCI bus. If the response received identifies the key as invalid or no response is received from the transponder in the ignition key, the SKIM sends an “invalid key” message to the PCM. The PCM will enable or disable engine operation based upon the status of the SKIM messages. It is important to note that the default condition in the PCM is “invalid key.” Therefore, if no response is received by the PCM, the engine will be immobilized after two (2) seconds of running.

I do not think it's the transponder key. When the faulty TCM/PCM is replaced it may very well resolve the issue with the SKIM. If the issue still exists after the installation the dealer will troubleshoot it with a DRB III scan tool.   See Tech Library, Electronic Control Modules subsection for the remaining DTC codes.

 

1766. I have a 2003 TE PT with 49.5k miles. The parking/emergency brake light stays on even though the brake is off. Why is this happening? Thanks. – Chuck, from California.

Check your brake fluid level. If low; fill and check brake system for pad wear and or leaks. If ok, other possible causes include:

1. Park Brake Switch
2. Brake Warning Indicator Driver Circuit Short To Ground (Park Brake Switch)
3. Brake Warning Indicator (Fluid Level) Switch
4. Red Brake Warning Indicator Driver Circuit Short To Ground (Fluid Level Switch)
5. Instrument Cluster
6. PCM

 

1767. I have a 2004 Dream Cruiser GT (HO) with 168k miles. About 300 miles ago, I had to replace both my Cat and O2 sensors, due to multiple fault codes. All was well after the replacement until I tripped codes P0032/P0038 yesterday. I checked the wiring on the after Cat sensor and everything looks good. I cleared the code, restarted the car and immediately tripped the CE light again. The car runs fine, but I am concerned about driving in this condition. Appreciate your input and time. – Larry, from Iowa.

P0032 – O2 Sensor 1/1 Heater Circuit High

Possible causes include:

O2 Sensor Heater Operation
O2 Heater Element
O2 Heater Ground Circuit Open
O2 Sensor
O2 Heater Control Shorted To Voltage
O2 Heater Control Circuit Open
PCM


P0038- O2 Sensor 1/2 Heater Circuit High

Possible causes include:

O2 Sensor Heater Operation
O2 Heater Element
O2 Heater Ground Circuit Open
O2 Sensor
O2 Heater Control Shorted To Voltage
O2 Heater Control Circuit Open
PCM

The upstream oxygen sensor (1/1) threads into the outlet flange of the exhaust manifold. The downstream heated oxygen (1/2) sensor is mounted after the catalytic converter.

We have an OE diagnostic available in the Pit area however you would need a DRB III scan tool and other equipment to troubleshoot this issue.

 

1768. I have a 2003 GT (LO) with 104k miles. I was driving and the fuel low light came on and gauge went to zero. Had only 60 miles after fill-up. Thank you. – Chris, from Colorado.

Check the most obvious first – fuel system leak and empty gas tank. If the there are no fuel leaks and there's gas in the tank run the vehicle instrument cluster test. It will tell you if the gauge is functioning correctly.

Perform the Instrument Cluster Self Test.

1. Depress and hold the Trip Odometer button while turning the ignition on.

2. Observe the Fuel Gauge calibration points during the Self Test.

3. The Fuel Gauge indicator needle should pause at the following positions:

Off: Empty Stop below E
Calibration Point 1: E
Calibration Point 2: 1/8
Calibration Point 3: 1/2
Calibration Point 4: F
Calibration Point 5: Full Stop above F

If the gauge does not respond during the self test the cluster will have to be tested by the dealer. If the gauge is faulty the cluster must be replaced. If the gauge functions ok with the self test I would look at the fuel level sensor next.

Follow up from owner - It did pass the self test and is still doing the same thing. Where do I look for the fuel sensor and is it something some one could do them selves?

PTDIY follow up - The fuel gauge level sensor is attached to the side of fuel pump module. In order to access the pump module the fuel system must be drained and the gas tank must be dropped. Have your dealer verify the fault and handle the repair.

 

1769. We have a PT with 70k miles.  Our headlamp lenses are coated with something that make them appear cloudy.  This is not inside the lenses.  I have tried to gently remove the coating, to no avail. I wonder if it is a defect in the composition material the lenses are made of. – Forum poster, from USA.

The cloudy lens issue is reported occasionally and usually by owners who have owned their PT for a few years. It can be created over time by oxidation, UV radiation and chemicals that degrade the plastic and cause it to cloud or yellow. After a while this coating can simply start to peel off and become unsightly.    

There are a few things you try:

1. There are DIY plastic polishing kits for clear plastic automobile headlamp lens which cloud up. They usually require the use of a drill, and include a cleaning compound and backing plate with waffle foam pad.  

2. There are shops that will professionally clean your headlamp lens (about $75-$100). Some require that you visit their facility and others will come to your home or business to administer the repair. Check your yellow pages.

3. If the damage is not extensive, some owners have successfully used Meguiars PlastX Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish on their lens, which is available through most auto part retailers.

4. You can also contact your dealer, but they will probably want to replace both head lamp units (at your cost). The only serviceable component in the headlamp unit is the lamp socket.

 

1770. I have a 2004 BE PT. I have a three pronged electrical extension cord type plug (male) that you would find on your home air conditioner. What is this for and why is it just laying in the engine compartment? – John, from New York.

Based upon your description, it sounds like an engine block heater, which is available as an optional accessory by the dealer. The heater is mounted in a core hole (in place of a core hole plug) in the engine block near the starter mounting location and is operated by ordinary house current (110 Volt A.C.) through a power cord and connector behind the radiator grille. The power cord must be secured in its retainer clips, and not positioned so it could contact linkages or exhaust manifolds and become damaged.

The block heater element is submerged in the cooling system's coolant. When electrical power is applied to the element, it creates heat. This heat is transferred to the engine coolant. This provides easier engine starting and faster warm-up when vehicle is operated in areas having extremely low temperatures.

Next time you're at the dealership have them inspect the plug and verify its use.

 

1771. I purchased a non-running 2001 LE PT with 83k miles. Initial tests showed zero compression. Upon inspection, the timing belt was way off. Cylinder #1 at TDC, neither mark was visible, so, I tore it all down, re-aligned all of the timing marks to the book, put it back together and still zero compression. I read somewhere that the hydraulics sometimes requires 60 seconds of cranking after a long period of not running. Still zero compression in all cylinders. I do have ignition and fuel. I can't think of anything that could possibly explain this. – Dwight, from Texas.

I'm not familiar with the 60 second rule, but I would be concerned with damaging the starter running it for that length of time. No compression in all cylinders is usually an indication of a broken or slipped timing belt. The PT engine is a non-interference motor, but only to a degree. Although the pistons will not hit the valves, the valves from both camshafts can hit each other when the belt breaks or slips. Owners should always anticipate and inspect for damage when replacing the belt. Assuming that you've inspected for damage, correctly aligned everything and the belt is ok, you should have compression.

Compression should not be less than 689 kPa (100 psi) and not vary more than 25 percent from cylinder to cylinder. If one or more cylinders have abnormally low compression pressures, the compression test should be repeated. If the same cylinder or cylinders repeat an abnormally low reading on the second compression test, it could indicate the existence of a problem in the cylinder in question.

Low compression in one cylinder usually indicates a bad exhaust valve. Low compression in two adjacent cylinders typically means a bad head gasket. Low compression in all cylinders usually indicates that the rings and cylinders are worn and the engine needs to be overhauled.

If compression is low in one or more cylinders, you can isolate the problem to the valves or rings by squirting a little 30 weight motor oil into the cylinder through the spark plug hole and repeating the compression test. The oil temporarily seals the rings. If the compression readings are higher the second time around, it means the rings and/or cylinder is worn. No change in the compression readings would tell you the cylinder has a bad valve.

You might consider running a leakdown or cylinder leakage test, which is similar to a compression test, but instead of measuring pressure, it measures pressure loss. An engine is great condition should generally show only 5 to 10% leakage. An engine that's still in pretty good condition may show up to 20% leakage, but more than 30% leakage indicates trouble.

The nice thing about a leakage test is that it's easier to figure out where the pressure is going. If you hear air coming out of the tailpipe, it indicates a leaky exhaust valve. Air coming out of the throttle body would point to a leaky intake valve. Air coming out of the air box or PCV valve fitting would tell you the rings and/or cylinders are worn.

The tests can also be used in conjunction. A cylinder with poor compression and minimal leakage usually has a valvetrain problem such as a worn cam lobe, broken valve spring, collapsed lifter, bent push rod, etc.

If all the cylinders have low compression, but show minimal leakage, the most likely cause is incorrect valve timing. The timing belt may be off a notch or two.

If compression is good and leakage is minimal, but a cylinder is misfiring or shows up weak in a power balance test, it indicates a fuel delivery (bad injector) or ignition problem (fouled spark plug or bad plug wire).

 

1772. I have a 2004 BE PT with 47k miles. I started up the car after work and about 10 seconds later while still in Park the engine light came on. It has stuttered twice when you go uphill and give it too much gas. Everything else seems fine. No prior problems ever. I ran the self tests, which indicate P0344 and P0340. Thank you. – John, from Tennessee.

P0344 - Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Intermittent - A rationality error has been detected for intermittent loss of camshaft position sensor.

Possible causes include:

Wiring Harness Inspection
(K7) 5 Volt Supply Circuit Open or Shorted To Ground
Tone Wheel/Pulse Ring Inspection
Checking CKP Signal With The DRBIII Lab
Camshaft Position Sensor
(K44) CMP Signal Circuit Open
(K44) CMP Signal Circuit Short To Ground
(K44) CMP Signal Circuit Shorted To B+
(K44) CMP Signal Circuit Short To (K7) 5 Volts
PCM


P0340 (M) - Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit - A rationality error has been detected for loss of camshaft position sensor.

Possible causes include:

Intermittent Crankshaft Position Sensor Signal
Intermittent Camshaft Position Sensor Signal
(K7) 5 Volt Supply Circuit Shorted To Ground
(K7) 5 Volt Supply Circuit Open
K7) 5 Volt Supply Circuit Shorted To Voltage
(K44) CMP Signal Circuit Shorted Ground
(K44) CMP Signal Circuit Open
(K44) CMP Signal Circuit Shorted To Voltage
(K44) CMP Signal Shorted To (K7) 5 Volt Supply Circuit
(K4) Sensor Ground Circuit Open
PCM - (K7) 5 Volt Supply
PCM - (K44) CMP Signal
Camshaft Position Sensor

Diagnostics are available through the Pit area on the site however some tasks require the use of a DRB III scan tool and other test equipment. There are a few things you can DIY:

1. Visually inspect the related wire harness including the ground circuit. Look for any chafed, pierced, pinched, or partially broken wires.

2. Visually inspect the related wire harness connectors. Look for broken, bent, pushed out, or corroded terminals.

3. Ensure the Crankshaft Position Sensor and the Camshaft Position Sensor are properly installed and the mounting bolt(s) are tight.

 

1773. We have a 2006 TE GT (LO) convertible with 12k miles. What are the suggested products we should use to maintain the convertible top from the warm Arizona sun to prevent fading or cracking? – Michael, from Arizona.

There's no additional information in the service manuals regarding care of the top. Have you reviewed the care information (below) in your owners' manual?

Convertible Top Care

Immediate removal of any contaminant is recommended. Regular washing of the top will enhance its life and appearance, and make successive cleanings easier. Do not subject the top to excessive heat. Frequently vacuum the top and storage compartment.

Washing

Hand washing is highly recommended. Automatic car washing equipment can damage the top material. If you must use an automatic car wash, soft cloth systems are preferred.

Caution - Avoid high pressure car washes, as they can damage the top material. Also, increased water pressure may force water past the weather strips.

General Cleaning

Careful vacuuming of the top before washing is helpful in removing dust and other foreign particles. Wash in partial shade instead of direct sun. Wet the entire vehicle before washing the top. The top should be washed with a soft, natural bristle scrub brush, and a mild soap solution such as liquid dish washing soap. Do not use detergent.

Caution - Never use an abrasive type cleaner or bleaches. Cleaners should not contain silicones, organic solvents, petroleum distillates or plasticizers. Always wait until the top is thoroughly dry before lowering it into the storage area.

Scrub in all directions, covering an area of about two square feet at a time. Avoid heavy scrubbing. Rinse the entire vehicle with water to remove all soap and dirt from the top fabric and to prevent streaking on painted and chrome surfaces. Allow the top to dry before lowering. Vacuuming the top with a wet/dry shop vacuum will decrease the top's drying time, ensure removal of all dirt, and delete streaks in the material. Multiple cleanings may be necessary to remove stubborn stains. If stains persist, contact your local dealership for further suggestions.

Cloth Top Additional Cleaning Procedure

For additional cleaning assistance in removing stubborn stains, apply Mopar Convertible Cloth Top Cleaner # 4883061 to the complete stain, extending 2” beyond the stain. With a soft bristle brush, scrub in all directions over the stain. Avoid heavy scrubbing. Rinse the area with warm water. If the stain is still apparent, repeat the cleaning procedure. When the stain is no longer showing, rinse the complete top with warm water. Let the top dry before lowering it.

Cloth Top Protection

For appearance purposes, you may wish to protect your Twillfast™ (cloth) top periodically. A fabric protectant such as Scotchguard_ is suggested. The top should be clean and dry before application of the protectant.

Caution - Avoid getting Scotchguard on the surrounding weather strips, moldings, paint, or glass. Damage to these items might occur.

Any additional questions regarding care should be addressed to your local dealer.

 

1774. Is there a source for just the blower motor switch on the PT?  This is the switch for the AC/heater.  It is located in the center console on the left side.  It has 4 speed selections for cooling, the off position and 4 speeds for no cooling.  The 2nd speed on mine does not work unless the fan switch is banged with my fist. – Poster, from forum.

The IPB indicates that the knobs are replaceable, but the entire four-switch assembly (CONTROL, A/C and Heater) must be replaced when one switch is faulty. Check with your local dealer parts department for the correct P/N for your model year. An alternative would be to check with a local auto salvage yard. Or you could remove the assembly and examine the connections or try cleaning it.

 

1775. I have a 2003 BE PT with 94k miles. When the weather turns colder the display on the radio goes off and usually doesn't return until the interior is warm or the headlights are turned off. If the interior of the car is still cold the display will come back on if the car is stopped, the heater fan AND the lights are off. The radio still works and all the buttons work, there is just NO display. I am really confused and am wondering where to start looking for a cause. – Stephen, from Ohio.

Fuse #2 (15 amp) in the interior fuse box feeds the multifunction switch which in turn feeds the instrument cluster, which controls the display driver circuit on the radio. I would begin by checking the multi-function headlamp switch since it controls both the headlamps and audio display driver circuit. A number of these switches have failed and been replaced by owners. You'll find an OE diagnostic for testing and replacing the switch in the Pit area on the site.

 



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